Oh Blizzard, you know all the right ways to drive fans of your titles to the brink of insanity. Years of waiting for the next installment in the dungeon crawling, loot dropping, hell infused masquerade has left me and countless others drooling with anticipation. Despite several delays, and many iterations of design ideas, Diablo 3 will finally be seeing the light of day in the next few months, and here's a few reasons why I know I won't see any sunlight for a long time.
1. Inferno Mode
With the Normal difficulty being a very casual experience for players, the Nightmare and Hell difficulties are where the meat of the game would lie. Offering up exponentially more powerful enemies, as well as including grand armor sets, and rare weaponry. Blizzard couldn't stop there though. With Diablo 3 the developer's are bringing the insanely challenging Inferno Mode. This mode requires you to complete the game on the Hell difficulty and thrusts you into an epic challenge for those already at the game's level cap. You should probably be sure you hit the cap because these monsters all begin a level above the game's level cap. With great challenge comes great rewards offering up exclusive items only available within Inferno. With the best
loot set to fall within the confines of the last tier of difficulties, is it any question where the most devout Diablo fan's will be spending their time? http://youtu.be/U0F2wPZWdYk
2. All That Shiny Loot
With the incredible Inferno mode already taunting me, it only it makes it worse once glimpses of the Inferno tiered loot catches my eye. The thought of sinking hours into the game clicking mercilessly on the mouse, drooling at the thought of the next piece of higher tiered armor I find. Pushing farther into the hours of the night as the more exclusive loot I collect feeds me with a stream of endorphins. What excites me even more is the variation in design between each class, and the progression that we will see as the loot we collect gains elegance with each progression. Elaborate and highly detailed armor sets, and weapon designs are enough to get anyone excited. Watching your character transform from rags to the ultimate champion to defend humanity from the forces of evil is all too exciting. Blizzard has stated that players will also be able to instantly tell when an item has been collected from the higher difficulties. Weapons may radiate a powerful glowing flame, or other visually distinct features. Diablo has always been a game about finding the best loot possible, constantly improving your character all to make him/her the most powerful they can be. Whittling away hours at a time isn't something that should come as a surprise, especially when the armor sets exclusive to the higher difficulties looks so damn good.
3. New Classes
With such vast differences between all 5 of the classes, it will be a great feeling to complete the game storyline as each. Classes that range from the Barbarian's devastating melee power to the Witch Doctor's voodoo summoning power. There is a wide range of play styles to choose from as previous Diablo titles, but how the classes are presented and skills that are unlocked will prove to bring a unique experience in Sanctuary with each character type. While the stats and skills you use no longer require you to commit to a certain build via skill trees, the true experience will be in leveling each character and finding that the path along the way will play out differently. Resources that are used for skills are now unique to each class. Wizard's rely on Arcane Power. An intense energy that allows them to direct it as if it is a part of their own body. With crackles of energy bursting forth they have a fast regenerative property and only risk depletion when attempting numerous invocations. The Barbarian relies on pure fury generated with rage as they shatter the battlefield with their exponentially building power. http://youtu.be/HIQK1pijgvY Classes also receive items exclusively made for them. These grant them unique bonuses, and stat increases that will aid them on their journey for the Fallen Star. Witch Doctors will find use in voodoo masks, ceremonial knives, and mojos which are held in the off-hand aiding them in the conjuration of dark forces. Wizards use orbs, wands, and wizard hats. All of the equipment designed for each class is also used in order to keep the visual appeal of each class. With the full class roster of the Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard, there is a wide range of reasons to at least play each class. Better yet, just give them all a run to level 60 because you're bound to find something unique and enjoyable with each class.
4. Real Money Auction House
Kudos to Blizzard for attempting to embrace the fact that countless gamers are willing to pay real money for in-game items, and with many falling victim to countless scams, this could very well be a temporary solution for those who see the potential of selling in-game items, and those who just want to be rewarded for their newly found skin pigmentations. Say you've got the perfect item to sell, and you figure what can it hurt, it's a legendary axe, and you know people have been salivating at the sheer sight of it. Once you've made the decision to place it in the auction house, Blizzard requires you to pay a flat fee for all items, then set the initial bids and a buyout amount. Once the item sells Blizzard collects a flat cut of profit, and you are left with an important decision to make. Do you leave your profit in your Battle.net account, or cash out your money where a third-party processor takes another cut of your hard earned adventuring rewards?
With the fees and percentages of what is going to be collected from your sell still unclear, it will be interesting to see just how much you are able to make. Can you truly blame Blizzard for taking control of a shady marketplace where many are being exploited and in turn shedding a darker light around certain titles? I see the Auction House as a way for there to be some moderation for those who want a little reward for their time investment. By no means will this make you rich, but it's a welcome addition and it will be interesting to witness the outcome of the Auction House
The beauty of Diablo is that every playthrough has the potential to be a different experience with every new character you invest in. Between the random loot drops, rare monster packs, and unique dungeon encounters, you're bound for a unique experience every visit to Sanctuary. Dungeons are the heart of the randomization in Diablo 3. Certain environments and sections will always remain the same, however you can view these pieces as lego blocks. Each block always looks and feels the same, yet when combined in new and unique ways those blocks build up something entirely new and imaginative. With the beginning portion of the game available to some of the public already, many have been complaining that it is simply not random enough. However, keeping in mind that it is only the first act of the game, we may be seeing a slightly more linear path in order to help those new to the play style of Diablo to find there bearings in the world of Sanctuary. It is not a totally farfetched idea to think that perhaps the later acts of the game will offer up some more extensive randomizations of dungeons. Whether the game will up the ante farther into the title won't be known until launch, it's still always an exciting thought that each playthrough is going to bring something different, something fresh. Already knowing my time with Diablo is very well set to consume a good portion of my time, the idea that I won't ever truly find the same experience brings another slice of peace to my mind.
Diablo 3 is the premier hack and slash, action and adventure, endorphin gathering loot fest. With May 15th finally announced as the official release date, it will be interesting to see just how many people call in sick. In fact if you're planning on disappearing from the face of the Earth for a short amount of time, you might as well say sorry for May 15 now.